Single quantum dot nanowire photodetectors

December 14, 2010
This image shows the photocurrent from the nanowire detector (the yellow spot represents the region where current is generated under illumination) and the electrical contacts are indicated in blue, while the nanowire is indicated in green. Credit: Zwiller

Moving a step closer toward quantum computing, a research team in the Netherlands recently fabricated a photodetector based on a single nanowire, in which the active element is a single quantum dot with a volume of a mere 7,000 cubic nanometers. The device is described in the American Institute of Physics' journal Applied Physics Letters.

Photodetectors based on single are expected to find uses in optoelectrical interfaces in future quantum computers, where single photons will carry information over long distances and single electrons will be used for computation.

"Our research team fabricated a very localized light detector with dimensions far below the wavelength of light, which enables detection with very high spatial resolution," explains Val Zwiller of the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at Delft University of Technology.

"In addition, because quantum dots have discrete energy levels, only light in resonance with the energy levels of the quantum dot will be detected. The indium phosphide (InP) nanowire was grown with standard epitaxial techniques and the quantum dot was obtained by sandwiching a thin segment in between with a lower bandgap. We created the device using electron beam lithography to contact a single nanowire."

Explore further: Engineers at USC and UT-Austin boost the sensitivity of night vision goggles by using quantum dots

More information: The article, "Single quantum dot nanowire photodetectors" by M. P. van Kouwen, M. H. M. van Weert, M. E. Reimer, N. Akopian, U. Perinetti, R. E. Algra, E. P. A. M. Bakkers, L. P. Kouwenhoven, and V. Zwiller appears in the journal Applied Physics Letters. See: link.aip.org/link/applab/v97/i11/p113108/s1

Related Stories

Single Atom Quantum Dots Bring Real Devices Closer (Video)

January 27, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Single atom quantum dots created by researchers at Canada’s National Institute for Nanotechnology and the University of Alberta make possible a new level of control over individual electrons, a development ...

In Brief: Quantum dot-Induced transparency

December 1, 2010

Using rigorous and realistic numerical simulations, staff in the Nanophotonics and Theory and Modeling groups at the Argonne National Laboratory have recently demonstrated that a single semiconductor nanocrystal, or quantum ...

Recommended for you

Better together: graphene-nanotube hybrid switches

August 2, 2015

Graphene has been called a wonder material, capable of performing great and unusual material acrobatics. Boron nitride nanotubes are no slackers in the materials realm either, and can be engineered for physical and biological ...

Reshaping the solar spectrum to turn light to electricity

July 28, 2015

When it comes to installing solar cells, labor cost and the cost of the land to house them constitute the bulk of the expense. The solar cells—made often of silicon or cadmium telluride—rarely cost more than 20 percent ...

Meet the high-performance single-molecule diode

July 29, 2015

A team of researchers from Berkeley Lab and Columbia University has passed a major milestone in molecular electronics with the creation of the world's highest-performance single-molecule diode. Working at Berkeley Lab's Molecular ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Husky
not rated yet Dec 14, 2010
looks like an excellent read head for ultra high resolution optical disk as well

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.